Security Issue - DJI Mavic Pro Drone killed my SHM

I couple of days ago I posted about all of the sensors in my home suddenly disconnecting. After trouble shooting and repeat testing, I have figured out exactly why.

I have 11 ST sensors, 2 ST outlets, Ecobee4, an Ecobee sensor, and 20+ Phillips Hue Lights.

Over the course of about 20 minutes, I watched all of my motion sensors go down one by one. Then over the next 5 minutes or so, all of my window and door sensors started going down (They all were verified as working UNTIL the point of showing as disconnected in both ST Classic and ST New app). After that my ST outlets disconnected.

At that point, the only things remaining as connected in the Apps were my Hue lights, and my Ecobee4 and Ecobee sensor.

I was still able to fully control the Hue lights and my Ecobee equipment.

About 20 minutes later, my Ecobee equipment all showed as disconnected.

I was very concerned and agitated. I spent well over 100 hours this past month installing and programming (still OCD programming daily) my house only to have it seem to completely fall apart and making me wonder why I put so much money and effort into this.

HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED: During the above process I was planning to take my DJI Mavic Pro drone out for the first voyage of the year the next morning, so I was cycling the battery by letting it just idle indoors for about an hour until the battery died. Once I powered it down, everything came back to life. So out of a hunch I powered it on again and sure thing everything started disconnecting one by one again.

While I am happy I figured this out, at the same time I realized how unreliable this entire system is and could be bypassed with a simple consumer item you could go down to Wal-Mart and purchase.

During all of this I was able to control my Hue lights with the ST apps. They never disconnected. However, they were not able to be triggered by any of the sensors. Maybe if my drone battery lasted longer I would then see all those go down? I am not sure. But the sensors are the heart of the system, and without those the rest of the setup is useless.

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Glad you figured it out. Definitely interesting, but it’s a well-known issue with drones, and it’s one of the reasons that public services are so freaked out about them even though the general public are not. Not just that they’re in the same frequency so as to disrupt many other devices: it’s that many of them transmit at a higher power than is legally allowed in the US

There are also some which can interfere with Z wave devices.

The DJI Mavic 2 is notorious for causing interference with other Devices as it has a particularly broad distribution pattern:

Probably the reason for that is that most drones that could take out your zigbee sensors would themselves be taken out by Wi-Fi in the buildings they were flying near. But yes, the drones themselves are a problem.

(And so, by the way, are the jammers that takeout the drones, in case one of your neighbors gets annoyed about your drone.)

As to why your Hue bridge was not affected, I could make some guesses, but they would only be guesses. It’s all about local interference patterns and architecture. And of course the individual channels being used.

As far as security systems, purpose built security systems use sensors on other frequencies (as, for example, does the SmartThings/ADT system), Or use channel hopping to improve signal consistency.

The standard smartthings hub is a very inexpensive home automation system. And it’s cloud-based. You get some additional convenience notifications if that’s of value to you, but it’s not a real security system and doesn’t meet those standards. If you follow the links on the SmartThings site to “security,“ as of this writing all of them will take you to the ADT model.

My own feeling is that within five years we will see licenses required for most drone sales as they are going to be an increasing problem. And so far the flyer community has not shown much interest in following either rules or guidelines. :wink:


Some frequency patterns from the article linked to above, so you can see why the drone is a problem:

Zigbee (The position of the spike will vary depending on the exact zigbee channel your hub is on)





Your drone



It is interesting that I faced almost the same situation recently. I also have DJI Mavic Pro Drone. I bought it on the recommendation of this article and I have never regretted of this purchase, till all of the sensors in my smart home suddenly disconnecting. I had to call up the electrician, because I didn’t figure out what was the problem. Glad that you figured it out by yourself and you didn’t paid the electrician like I did. After this, I don’t know what to do with my drone. I am afraid to use it again and I am thinking about to buy a new one.

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